A new survey of 2,000 U.K. drivers, who are also pet owners by SEAT UK, reveals that many are safer drivers when they have their dog in the vehicle with them. Some jurisdictions in the U.K. require drivers to restrain their dogs while en route and drivers who do not may be fined. Similar laws are in place in the U.S.
There results of the survey showed that 54 percent of respondents admitted that they drive more carefully when their dog is in the car with them. That percentage rises when younger drivers’ behaviors are isolated. Sixty-nine percent of respondents aged 18-24 said they drive more safely with a dog in the car.
Having their dog along for the ride calmed down most drivers.
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Older drivers exercised the least amount of additional caution when their dog accompanied them on a drive. Just 42 percent of respondents over 55 years old said that they were safer drivers when their pet was along for the ride.
Dogs are known for decreasing stress levels at home, but they also work their magic while on the road. Thirty-five percent of motorists said that they feel calmer when their dog is in the car with them.
U.K. drivers who do not properly restrain their dog while driving may incur a 5,000 fine and receive nine points on their license. Nine out of 10 people surveyed by SEAT UK were unsure of the rules concerning restraining a dog while motoring.
Over a third of dog-owning drivers were unsure whether there were any rules at all, and more than nine out of 10 didn’t know of the maximum penalty, which can be issued by police.
Nigel Griggs, Head of Aftersales at SEAT UK commented, saying: “Everyone knows the British public is passionate about its dogs, however, this study confirms that having their best friend in the car can contribute to safer driving while also having a positive mental health benefit by reducing stress levels. It appears to be a win win.
“Motorists still need to make sure they’re keeping their dogs safe while traveling too, and finding comfortable and secure in-car pet accessories to properly restrain pets is as important as using your own seat belt.”